Without Feathers, by Woody Allen
“I read this book of brilliant comic essays as a teenager (long before Allen’s personal life became confusing) and was blown away by the author’s range. There are riffs on Greek philosophy, séances, dentists, Impressionists, and argyle socks. Allen is also, as always, obsessed with death. But he made me realize that, despite the ever present Grim Reaper, you can still take pleasure in silliness and absurdity. At least for a little while. Until, you know, you die.”
Recommended by A. J. Jacobs, a humorist and the author of, most recently, Drop Dead Healthy ($16, amazon.com).
To buy: $8, amazon.com.